design & illustration for fun peoplE
Something to Smile About!
When I was searching for an artist to create a new kind of look for Christian children’s books, I cast the net far and wide. Then one day, the perfect match fell right into my hands.
I received in the mail a postcard announcing the release of a new book about a Japanese fairy. The inventive color combinations and original style of the cover captivated me. Who did that? It was unlike any fairy drawing I had ever seen. And as the mom of a little fairy princess of my own, I had seen a lot.
Happily, the artist lived right here in my hometown, and we became fast friends. Missi Jay amazes me to this day with her breezy style and colorful originality.
After graduating from Oklahoma University with an art degree, Missi moved to Austin, Texas, attracted to its creative scene, sense of community, and its big-city life with a small-town feel. In 1998 after working for several design firms, Missi struck out on her own and launched Gigglebox Design.
In addition to illustrating more than a dozen children’s books, Missi designed the official Texas license plate benefitting the child advocate nonprofit Texas CASA. She earned the Big Wig Award for best illustrator by the Austin Advertising Federation, and her work has been nationally recognized by Print Magazine and the Addy Awards, Creative Quarterly, and most recently “3X3 Illustration.”
Missi says she gets inspiration from music, song lyrics, famous quotes, pop culture, fashion, and color, color, color. But her biggest inspiration is her daughter, Ruby, “a real-life, glitter-covered rainbow!” Getting to know Missi and her work, you can see why that is.
Not many artists could effectively illustrate a young children’s book about the soul—something unseen, but very real. Missi took this difficult subject and made it soar. Such a multi-layered quality is what makes all of her artwork so engaging. It offers much more than meets the eye. The after-images linger and soothe like a healing balm. Even thinking about her work brings a smile.